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Prominent GOP pollster: Times Square bomb scare gives Republicans an "opportunity"

Whit Ayres is a prominent Republican pollster who has co-founded something called "Resurgent Republic," which bills itself as a message testing outfit for GOP lawmakers -- part of an effort by Republicans to build an infrastructure to retake power in Washington.

So it was interesting to see how Ayres characterized the politics of the Times Square bomb scare in an interview with Karen Tumulty and Paul Kane:

Two days after the dramatic arrest of Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad, Republicans were engaged in a full-bore effort to rewrite the good-news narrative.

Yes, we have been lucky," House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) said Thursday, "but luck is not an effective strategy for fighting terrorism."

Whatever the merits of their argument -- and, where terrorism is concerned, it is prudent to keep cockiness at bay -- there is a political imperative at work as well.

"Democrats are always suspect on national security, and anything that makes them look weak on national security creates an opportunity for Republicans," said Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster.

Such candor! I can remember when it would have been controversial to suggest that a terror scare that could have killed many Americans presents one party with a political "opportunity."

To be fair, neither Boehner nor any other GOPers raising questions about the handling of the terror scare have gone anywhere near claming it represents good politics for Republicans, even if Boehner did say the suspect's capture was "lucky." But still, Aryes' assertion deserves some attention.

Ayres is the GOP equivalent of prominent Dem pollster Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps or John Podesta of the liberal Center for American Progress. If Greenberg or Podesta had explicitly said after the capture of the Shoe Bomber under Bush that it presented Dems with a political opportunity, you can bet that some folks would have made a lot of noise about it.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 7, 2010; 10:52 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security , House GOPers  
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Next: CAIR calls on GOP leaders to repudiate "terrorist" profiling ad

Comments

Yes, you are so right that Democrats never made a political issue of terrorist attacks or national security issues. They were never political opportunists at all.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Its been said a thousand times, but I'll say it again here Greg:

IOKIYAR

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | May 7, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

As someone who has a significant other who works in the vicinity of the attempted bomb attack, I find this comment utterly reprehensible and, frankly, wholly Un-American.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

"Democrats never made a political issue of terrorist attacks or national security issues"

You view opposition to torture and resistance to the denial of civil liberties as political opportunism. That's your cross to bear. But it is unrelated to reality as you GOPers nearly always are.

In contrast, here we have the GOP directly asserting that attempted terrorist attacks are good for them politically. Pretty sick, really.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Plus, Ethan, hugely insulting to hard-working law enforcement and investigative folks. It's awfully easy for those with no responsibilities (and no talent) for working on catching bad guys to say it was "lucky."

How about a question, Greg? How about "what do you mean by lucky? Can you give some examples of investigations that don't catch breaks and then capitalize on them?"

Asssholes.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 7, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The GOP is shooting blanks. Nobody is taking their talking points seriously. Could it be that after eight years of the Cheney/Bush Chicken Little routine that people are getting tired of the GOP claim that "the sky is falling, and its the Dems fault?"

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 7, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Morning slaves!

I notice that the Labour Party in the UK lost their mandate to continue their welfare socialist state and that the Tories, while making gains, didn't quite electrify it's base voters with their "Labour Lite" schtik.

Looks like the door is open to third partiers, (although it would be a stretch to equate the L-D's with the Tea Party).

No matter how it was sliced, the neo-Socialist nanny-staters took one right in the shorts.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 7, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Agreed BG. And while NYPD has been much maligned over the years (and properly so in many cases), the cops on the ground really do an incredible job day-in-day-out in one of the most difficult policing environments in the USA. To even remotely suggest that the NYPD or the FBI should be included in some way shape or form in Republican political "strategy" is, as I said, utterly reprehensible and offensive.

I SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY HOPE that the Democratic Party pushes back against this kind of thinking in a sensible way. Not in campaign ads, because that would be stooping to their unbelievably low level, but in, at the very least; press releases, press availabilities, and commentary on television and radio programs.

Bottom line: ordinary Americans need to know that the neoconservative fear-mongering for political gain has not subsided with Bush out of office, but in fact, quite the opposite has been happening. I hope the Democratic Party and/or members of the media pick up on what is an obvious trend of politicization of terror by the GOP capped with a cherry on top by this utterly ridiculous comment by a Republican pollster and adviser.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

All, are all of you experiencing slowness in the comments section?

I'm told that the WaPo team is working on this and that it's only a temporary problem.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 7, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

"If Greenberg or Podesta had explicitly said after the capture of the Shoe Bomber under Bush that it presented Dems with a political opportunity, you can bet that some folks would have made a lot of noise about it."

But you wouldn't have been one of them, would you?

Posted by: ScottC3 | May 7, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Moonabt Slave Ethan:
"Bottom line: ordinary Americans need to know that the neoconservative fear-mongering for political gain has not subsided with Bush out of office, but in fact, quite the opposite has been happening."

Fear-mongering, huh?

So the car bomb was not real?
Soldiers were NOT murdered at Fort Hood by an Islamist fanatic?
The Underwear Bomber did NOT rosat his own scrotum on an airplane over Detroit?

Moonbats can ignore and dismiss mass-murders and the failed attempts, but rational people are getting fed up with the policy of downplaying terrorism and hoping that it will all be forgotten.

Or blamed on something else...like mortgage foreclosures or racism or one of you livestocks' pet psychological bugbears.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 7, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Let's try to be clear.

I view you and the Defeatist Democrats who, among other things, waged a long campaign of political opportunism to declare America defeated and George Bush a traitor who "made us less safe" and "created more terrorists," as monumental hypocrites.

I note that Greg says there would be "a lot of noise" if a Dem pollster made the same comment. He doesn't say a Dem pollster wouldn't say it, because we all know a Dem pollster would. How many Dem pollsters and consultants do you suppose said that the "loss" of Iraq was an opportunity that should be capitalized on? How many do you suppose said the credit crisis was an opportunity for Dems?

And why does anyone suppose the Holder DOJ was leaking like mad about the Times Square bomber, when it made no national security sense? No, no politics there. Hypocrites.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Republican politicians are full of feces when it comes to terror. They have had it all wrong.

Enough with the shoot first-ask later, torture is orgasmic, jerry springer tea types.

President Obama: keep up the excellent work of cleaning up after these goon neanderthals.

Posted by: jfern03 | May 7, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

No one has fearmongered more than Obama et al. Please.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

bilgepumper: "So the car bomb was not real?"

It was real. Just not a political opportunity for the GOP. THAT is attempted fear-mongering for political gain, as clear as day.

"And why does anyone suppose the Holder DOJ was leaking like mad about the Times Square bomber, when it made no national security sense?"

First of all, what leaks? You'll have to be specific. Public comments by officials are not leaks, btw. And even if there were leaks, it's called trying to inform people with as close to real-time info as possible when a potential terrorist was still on the loose in NYC (and potential for follow-up attacks).

That's the last I will respond to either of these two posters for the day.

I think we should avoid letting them hijack the thread and instead keep the focus on the fact that a REPUBLICAN POLLSTER made comments that are clearly political in nature.

I will respond to Bilgepumper or QB if they choose to respond to the topic of this thread, but I doubt either will.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Oh right, the GOP has no idea how to deal with terrorists, and Obama is the man.

Funny how all that talk about how tough antiterror policies just created the terrorists terrorists has gone away . . . now that we've had repeated domestic terror attacks under Obama.

What ever happened to all that? Remember how Obama's new more understanding and diplomatic touch would get the Islamists to stop hating and attacking us so much?

And we are just supposed to pretend he is doing great?

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

QB, do you have any respond to the topic of this thread?

Here is the comment made by the REPUBLICAN POLLSTER:

"Democrats are always suspect on national security, and anything that makes them look weak on national security creates an opportunity for Republicans," said Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster.

Any thoughts on that? Or no.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

QB:
"No one has fearmongered more than Obama et al. Please"

Yeah...against Americans.

It boggles the rational mind how these cattle can plant their heads in the sand so dependably until they can no longer ignore what is happening to them.

And then it is just as awe-inspiring how they then default to their usual "displacement behaviors" that have been programmed into their defective minds.

A jihadist fails to set off a car bomb and they blame the financial services industry.

Another jihadist failed bomber roasts his own scrotum and they blame racism.

A third goes on a mass-murder spree, and they claim we need to limit our greenhouse gas emissions and ban offshore drilling.

If it wasn't so tragic, it would be ridiculous.

While I'm indulging in hyperbole, I'm not THAT far off the mark...which should tell a rational person something.

Posted by: Bilgeman | May 7, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

There is a silver lining to everything.......

Seeing an opportunity in a potential calamity....

This is a sign of "positive" thinkers.

Posted by: kishorgala | May 7, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Read for yourself Ethan. Your "prove it" games are wearisome.

The Holder DOJ leaked all over the place, and, no, those leaks aren't for officially informing the public, they are for political manipulation -- to lead people to a belief that Obama and Holder are just so terribly effective in finding terrorists (after their attacks luckily fail) without making official statements that would obviously not be responsible law enforcement procedure.

The topic of the thread is an inoccuous statement by a pollster that Greg is spinning into a sinister look at the dark heart of GOP opportunism. Dems who complain about things like this are huge hypocrites. Sorry you find that inconvenient, but it isn't off topic.

Your responses are irrelevant to me.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

They really know how to take advantage of an opportunity:

In the immediate aftermath of the attempted Times Square bombing last Saturday, House Republicans apparently decided they might be able to capitalize on the failed effort politically. The push is off to a slow start.

On Tuesday, for example, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) pretended to know something about national security, delivering a speech arguing that all of President Obama's successes on the issue don't really count. The speech was "full of distortions," and largely ignored.

Just 24 hours later, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Va.) gave a very similar speech, insisting that the White House has been "lucky" on national security, and lacks a meaningful strategy.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_05/023693.php

Posted by: cmccauley60 | May 7, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

QB, your unsubstantiated claims are irrelevant.

But thank you for responding to the substance of the quotation. Now we know that the Republican Party's attempts at politicizing terrorist attacks on American soil are, to you, "inoccuous" (sic.). Thanks.

I guess that, in your mind, should also make your (unproven) allegations of Democrats doing the same thing also to be innocuous. Of course that would only be true if your arguments had any sort of intellectual consistency.

But thank you for addressing the Republican pollsters comments and for making your arguments on this topic clear for all the readers to see.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"a REPUBLICAN POLLSTER made comments that are clearly political in nature."

Ohmigosh! He did what he gets paid to do.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 7, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, more on that crazy terrorist profiling ad:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/cair_calls_on_gop_leaders_to_r.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 7, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

And thanks, Ethan, for confirming once again your hypocrisy and your now-familiar determination to ignore whatever facts are inconvenient and redefine the "topic" to avoid confronting the truth. Greg's spin implies that Democrats don't do likewise. That is absurd, and it is the topic.

You find it appropriate for your party to campaign for years on end on the theme that George Bush "made us less safe"; willingly sent thousands of troops to their death for his own pleasure; for oil, or just to play war; "betrayed his country"; had lost the Iraq war, requring us to declare defeat and retreat; and had even allowed 911 either deliberately or negligently.

You find it appropriate that your party publicly blames radio talk hosts and political opponents for supposedly inciting domestic terror.

You find it appropriate for your party to politically exploit alleged domestic terror plots like the Hutteree losers.

In short, you find it appropriate for your party to politically exploit every domestic or international setback, attack, or calamity they can blame on the GOP, but you are outraged when an unknown GOP pollster makes a humdrum factual observation that anything that makes Democrats look weak gives the GOP an opportunity.

Your outrage is entirely hpocritical. Deplore him all you want, after you clean up your own act.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"He did what he gets paid to do."

Right. That's the problem. He gets paid by the Republican Party to politicize terrorism.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are praying for a successful terrorist attack so they can use it for political gain. I thought everyone knew that. The only surprise here is that one of them actually slipped up and admitted it publicly.

Posted by: js_edit | May 7, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

QB:

"You find it appropriate for your party to campaign for years on end on the theme that George Bush "made us less safe"; willingly sent thousands of troops to their death for his own pleasure; for oil, or just to play war; "betrayed his country"; had lost the Iraq war, requring us to declare defeat and retreat; and had even allowed 911 either deliberately or negligently."

I don't agree with some of your assessment but yes, I think the War in Iraq was an issue where Democrats had substantive differences with Iraq policy.

I don't see them politicizing it so much as seeking to remedy what they thought were policy differences.

In THIS case, however, the leadership of the Republican Party is on the record going against policies that they themselves supported under Bush. Now that their political strategy has been elucidated in clear, stark terms it is obvious that they care less about solving these issues than getting re-elected. And that is truly the unfortunate aspect of this issue.

"You find it appropriate that your party publicly blames radio talk hosts and political opponents for supposedly inciting domestic terror."

Absolutely.

"You find it appropriate for your party to politically exploit alleged domestic terror plots like the Hutteree losers."

I don't know what you mean. Hutaree members were arrested and charged with allegations of criminal activity against our government. I think that the government has a duty to protect the American people and members of the governmental community. I don't know any circumstances where Democrats have sought to "exploit" these alleged domestic terrorists, unless you call making comments about what was perceived as a very real threat to be "exploitation."

"In short, you find it appropriate for your party to politically exploit every domestic or international setback, attack, or calamity they can blame on the GOP, but you are outraged when an unknown GOP pollster makes a humdrum factual observation that anything that makes Democrats look weak gives the GOP an opportunity."

Suffice to say, I think your argument lacks intellectual consistency and honesty.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

*Gen. Petraeus: Times Square bomber is a lone wolf, not part of larger terror organization*

The general who oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan tells The Associated Press that alleged bomber Faisal Shahzad was inspired by militants in Pakistan, but didn't have direct contact with them.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/wire/sns-ap-us-times-square-petraeus,0,1389348.story

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Bilgeman,

I hear you. It boggles my mind every time I see the liberals go ape over something like this and try to turn attention from the actual issue -- this guy almost blew up Times Square.

If Bush were in office, he would be under impeachment by now for letting it happen (with a few brave Dems pitching in that he actually had helped plan it). And I'm not stretching it much either.

By 2004 we had the Dems claiming Bush let 911 happen and "ignored" warnings, that he was the problem "creating" terrorists, and that he "made us less safe." A year later we were hearing the Katrina drumbeat -- Bush wanted them to die!

We still read this garbage here on Plumline all the time.

And now we again have the old "fearmongering" nonsense, after a solid two years of Obama's mongering fear about every liberal bogeyman in the book.

Rush, AGW, Tea Parties, oil, Goldman, insurance companies, oil companies, greedy doctors, Fox, Citizens United, etc., etc. Be afraid!

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"Suffice to say, I think your argument lacks intellectual consistency and honesty."

RBAY

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats I guess were foolish in not using 9-11 as a scare opportunity. No instead the allowed that moron w to start stupid wars and rapidly turn a surplus into a deficit. They left this country in awful shape and now they plot to ruin it further so that they can again get their hands on the levers of power. How sick they are. Fortunately most people in this country see them for the idiots they are. Baggers.

Posted by: davidsawh | May 7, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"The “lone wolf’’ theory does not make a terrorist attack any less terrifying than one connected to an official pack of wolves — especially if the lone wolf is inspired by the same pack mentality.

"Whether or not Shahzad was connected to a militant jihadist Pakistani network...“The ideas that drove him to act did not hatch in his own mind. We ignore to our own detriment the common ideology, the common malignant virus of the slippery slope of political Islam."

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/05/06/denial_over_the_bomb_plot/

(via weekly standard)

Posted by: sbj3 | May 7, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=799&dat=20060825&id=RTYKAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2kkDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6914,5617393

Shocking, isn't it. Not only Howard Dean and Dems explicitly talking about capitalizing on Katrina but BOTH a Dem and an GOP pollster observing that it would hurt the GOP and/or help Dems.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

If there's ever an instance when Republifreaks can even FALSELY accuse Dems of politicizing any such thing, they're right on it.

Of course when it comes to the hypocritical scum bag republifreaks, anything goes.

Their voters could care less WHAT any of these wackos do, so long as they're a Republican they get a free pass and they're not expected to be anything but a Republican.


Posted by: lindalovejones | May 7, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@bm:
I notice that the Labour Party in the UK lost their mandate to continue their welfare socialist state and that the Tories, while making gains, didn't quite electrify it's base voters with their "Labour Lite" schtik.

Well your beloved torries would poll in the single digits if they suggested eliminating the socialist National Health Service. The torries are closer to the Dems (on policy, if not rhetoric) than they are to the repubs.

@qb: I am pretty sure that US military leadership agree that invading Iraq did in fact breed more terrorists. St Petraus has stated repeatedly that Gitmo was being successfully used as a terrorist recruiting tool.

@sbj: “The ideas that drove him to act did not hatch in his own mind. We ignore to our own detriment the common ideology, the common malignant virus of the slippery slope of political Islam." Replace political islam with anti-abortion zealots and the same is true of Tiller's assassin, but somehow this point is never made by the right when discussing terrorism.

Replace political islam with gun rights extremists and the same is true of the guy in Philly who shot a bunch of policemen because he thought that Obama was coming for his guns. Again, no rightwinger made this point.

Replace political islam with racist ideologues and the same is true of the man who shot up the holocaust museum. Again, no rightwinger made this point.

I could go on but you get the point, or would if your mind was open to reason.

Posted by: srw3 | May 7, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@qb: You find it appropriate for your party to campaign for years on end on the theme that George Bush "made us less safe"

I feel a lot less safe because we spent 1 trillion + dollars invading a country that had nothing to do with 911, no WMD, and was not a credible military threat to the US. Saddam was a bad man, but 10s of thousands of people were (and are) dying in Darfur, a real, actual, genocidal war, but because there was no oil in Darfur, Bush decided to just let them keep on dying... What would a trillion dollars have bought in terms of relieving the suffering of and protecting the people of Darfur? Heck, what would a trillion dollars do to help relieve the suffering of the underclass in the US?

Posted by: srw3 | May 7, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

No, QB, it's not shocking. Dems had a legitimate gripe over an event witnessed by anyone with a TV.

In this case, the Republican Party is conducting a cynical and deceitful exercise in an attempt to capitalize politically on something that they did when in power, namely, use police work to apprehend terrorist suspects and read Miranda Rights warnings to those suspects. Again, those policies were rightfully followed by the Bush Administration, and only now that a Democrat is in the White House you have Republicans reversing their opinions based on political expediency. And as SBJ admitted, the Republican Party willingly -- unbelievably -- pays consultants to tell them how to capitalize on these terrorism issues, not with a substantive argument, but from a purely partisan vantage.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

srw,

That's a classic liberal evasion.

You don't dispute that Dems shameless politicized Iraq and all things anti-terror. You just lamely suggest it was justified because Iraq and gitmo "did" spawn more terrorists.

Okay. So Obama and Holder, the geniuses they are, did fail to stop the TS bomber. He just didn't make his bomb right. So, according to you, there is no problem with making it a political issue and even campaigning on it.

As for terrorist recruitment and "creation," you can chalk up the TS bomber to Obama and his drone war. Also blame him for the Ft Hood massacre and the underwear bomber.

Obama's kinder and gentler machine gun hand was supposed to stop all this. But he now concedes the need for Gitmo and indefinite detention of dangerous terrorists. He is blasting the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan left and right, "recruting" more terrorists every day. So, what now? Fail much?

The truth is the Islamists hate us and want to kill, convert, or subjugate us, because that is their religious imperative. Everything we do do defend ourselves or combat them is another reason they attack us. Our very existence is intolerable to them.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

Your intellectual dishonesty is breathtaking. Truy remarkable. You have an endless well of excuses, false premises, implicit claims of privileged status, false distinctions, false equivalencies. There just is no bottom to your reservoir of evasions and fallacies, or your capacity for phony outrage. I have no more to say about it, because there is no point.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

@srw3: Are you suggesting that "anti-abortion zealots," "gun rights extremists," and "racist ideologues" are not a threat?

Posted by: sbj3 | May 7, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

All this from the party who fell asleep at the switch and under the logic of this article are responsible for 9-11.

Posted by: NJIND | May 7, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Bilgeman and qb have the disease known as Cheneyism in the defense world. This goes back to the days of the missile gap, before Cheney, but dirty Dick is the modern exemplar. Back in the 70s some of the CIA was giving what turned out to be relatively accurate assessments of Soviet military capability. This so annoyed Nixon and later Ford that a Team B was constructed under George Herbert Hoover Bush that constructed outlandishly paranoid assessments that after glasnost were shown to be absolute lunacy. Grenada? Pssh. Again with the Republican Guard in the Gulf War-20 feet tall, bulletproof and farting mustard gas. Not real, again.
Now any time a truly dispassionate, rational person assesses the risks of terrorism, they are denying the Cheneyites their feargasm. On a realpolitik level, most terrorism has been relatively small scale save for those sponsored by people who were formerly the beneficiaries of our foreign policy. Al Qaeda, Condor, mano blanco, and so on have really been CIA operations going right or going wrong-see Weiner, Legacy of Ashes.
But try to keep the wingers from the release of feargasm and you are fulfilling a certain someone's Nuremburg comments http://www.snopes.com/quotes/goering.asp

Posted by: sparkplug1 | May 7, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"a long campaign of political opportunism to declare America defeated and George Bush a traitor who "made us less safe" and "created more terrorists," as monumental hypocrites."

Even more ridiculous than usual.

No one I know declared America defeated in the fight against al Qaeda. We simply pointed out that Your Hero Bush was making everything worse for the U.S. by torturing, invading Iraq, etc. We were right. You were wrong. Obama is doing it the right way and succeeding and you hate him for it. That says a lot about you and your GOP ilk.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The bomb didn't explode, but went off all the same.

Posted by: johnharris1 | May 7, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Your intellectual dishonesty is breathtaking. Truy remarkable."

Isn't it funny how despite your assertions, you haven't addressed a specific comment that makes you feel this way?

The fact remains that you cannot address your own inconsistencies

When the GOP openly states that they seek to politicize a terrorist attack it is innocuous, but when the Democrats allegedly do anything for political gain (regardless of the substantive value of their argument), it's shocking and inappropriate.

Your argument, even if based on facts which it is apparently not, is wholly inconsistent.

Of course you have nothing more to say, because you cannot defend such a glaringly incongruous argument.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

When will the citizens of this country finally put to rest these mindless Republican swine grunting about their superiority from the sewage they left after the 2000 elections forward? No policy just fear. No ideas just silly niggling adherence to authority. No morals just greed and lust for power. They have no bottom to their pit of foulness. They just keep swimming downward.

Posted by: lorenjjohnson | May 7, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"we've had repeated domestic terror attacks under Obama"

Really. How many American deaths is Obama responsible for? How many is Bush responsible for? 3,000 on 9/11. 4,000 in Iraq.

And you surely know why Holder et al feel compelled to speak more openly about these terrorism events. Because you craven and soulless Republicans politicize every incident from the inception and criticize every move DOJ makes, regardless of how successful it is. You and the GOP don't care about the country. You care about your advancing your own political self-interest. You are disgusting hypocrites.

Oh, and stupid, too.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

You are so brilliant, wb.

Your party, including its top leadership, declared Iraq lost and demanded that we retreat and adopt a law enforcement approach to terrorism. It was not just defeatism but rooting for and the prematurely cheering defeat, purely for partisan purposes. Now our clown VP claims Iraq is OBAMA's victory. Talk about nerve.

Strangely, the domestic terror attacks appear to have increased under Obama rather than decreased, and this latest one has apparently said he acted in retaliation for Obama's supposedly new, more enlightened policies.

Bush successfully defended America without apology. You hated him for it. You worship Obama regardless of his cascading failures and hypocrisy and rank demogogic partisanship.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Come on people.....let the GOP's pathetic attempts at "winning back power" rule the headlines. This country know's what their doing and why.....it's the Glen Beck style of manipulation.....lying, crying and putting the fear of God into the people.

The democrats are not perfect, but they stand miles over the GOP brand of governing: as little as possible for the people and bigtime power and money for themselves. Who in their right mind would want that back?

Posted by: liberalwesterngirl | May 7, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@sbj: Are you suggesting that "anti-abortion zealots," "gun rights extremists," and "racist ideologues" are not a threat?

No I am pointing out the blatant double standard that republicans have when discussing terrorism. I thought that was pretty clear. Republicans are reluctant to even use the word terrorism when antiabortion zealots use violence to achieve policy ends.

"The ideas that drove him to act did not hatch in his own mind. We ignore to our own detriment the common ideology, the common malignant virus of the slippery slope of..."

Militant Islam flows of the tongues of republicans in completing this sentence when talking about terrorism. Anti abortion zealots, gun rights zealots, racists, militia movements (see McVeigh, Tim) not so much....

Shouldn't we pay attention to "the common ideology, the common malignant virus of the slippery slope of that spawns violence against abortion clinics, police, etc?

Just askin'

Posted by: srw3 | May 7, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"Bush successfully defended America without apology."

So wrong in so many ways. But first, why didn't you answer the question of how many American deaths are on Your Hero Bush's hands? More than 7,000. Proud of that are you?

The Iraq War was the worst foreign policy error in U.S. history. Not to mention that it was launched under false pretenses. Not to mention that Bush then proceeded to authorize torture in our names. We lost 4,000 soldiers and 10 times that number wounded and scarred for life. Bush wasted trillions of dollars rebuilding a country we had no business invading. Win in Iraq? What a joke. Nobody will win the iraq War except Iran.

When the GOP is wrong (very frequently) you say the issue is "complicated." BS. You are an ideologue, pure and simple. You are devoid of reason.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't it funny how despite your assertions, you haven't addressed a specific comment that makes you feel this way?"

No, not funny. I'm just weary of playing your little games. Like pretending you don't know Holder leaked. Like moving the goalposts. And all the rest.

"The fact remains that you cannot address your own inconsistencies"

None of which you have identified or even mentioned.

"When the GOP openly states that they seek to politicize a terrorist attack it is innocuous . . ."

What this pollster is actually quoted as saying:

""Democrats are always suspect on national security, and anything that makes them look weak on national security creates an opportunity for Republicans," said Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster."

But, yeah, whatever, close enough for a liberal hypocrisy freakout. Truth or accuracy be damned when you are venting phony outrage.

"Your argument, even if based on facts which it is apparently not, is wholly inconsistent."

Um, no. When you show me top republicans shrieking that Obama has betrayed the country, let me know about my hypocrisy. Right now you have a pollster who made a factual observation.

Your arguments are pathetically devoid of substance.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

So, let me get this straight. The bomb was found and defused with no one hurt, the perpetrator was caught within 50 hours and is giving lots of actionable intelligence without being tortured. The President, FBI and NYPD all did their jobs within hours of the threat.

So how is this a loss? Looks pretty darned good from here.

Posted by: lurkittyfb | May 7, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

QB: "No, not funny. I'm just weary of playing your little games. Like pretending you don't know Holder leaked. Like moving the goalposts. And all the rest."

Haha. Really? You're weary? Coulda fooled me. You obviously relish this type of banter. Again, what leaks in specific are you referring to? I honesty don't remember seeing or hearing about any leaks.

QB: "None of which you have identified or even mentioned."

Haha. I've done so multiple times. Here is is one more time for your edification: "When the GOP openly states that they seek to politicize a terrorist attack it is innocuous, but when the Democrats allegedly do anything for political gain (regardless of the substantive value of their argument), it's shocking and inappropriate."

That is the nature of the inconsistency of your argument.

QB: "But, yeah, whatever, close enough for a liberal hypocrisy freakout"

The quotation was in reference to their strategy based on the latest attempt at a terrorist attack. So therefore they are seeking to capitalize on terrorism. Do you follow?

QB: "When you show me top republicans shrieking that Obama has betrayed the country, let me know about my hypocrisy"

Wow, ok.

"President Obama has betrayed his oath to the nation" -- Mitt Romney, 3/22/10

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/03/romney-president-obama-has-betrayed-his-oath-to-the-nation.php

You make this too easy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

quarterbrain,
That’s the problem being senior partner in your law firm, “Sock Puppet, Mountebank, & Charlatan”; you surround yourself with pretend sycophantic toadies who dare not point out your error. I know that in the vaporous imaginary courts in which you practice law, your pronouncement “BECAUSE I SAY SO” is the only evidentiary standard that is required. However, here in the real world, the rest of us don’t buy your schtick when you fail to buttress your claims with any evidence whatsoever. Your fictional legal bona fides may earn you laudits and praise in your fantasized delusional world of make believe, but everyone else views it as a pathetic, desperate attempt by you to assert your grand professional stature on this blog.

You are incapable of making an argument without employing intellectual dishonesty. Today it is the false equivalency. You surmise that Dems are hypocrites because they criticized Bush. You falsely equate today’s GOP criticism of Obama with the past record of Dems criticism of Bush.

None of us are complaining THAT the GOP is criticizing Obama, we are complaining about the NATURE of the criticism. It is the imbecilic nature of the tripe that the GOP trots out that we complain about, not the GOP’s right to complain. Hell, the liberals have complained plenty about Obama, but it’s not about Armageddon, or death panels, or alleging that reading suspects Miranda rights means that you are an Al Qaeda shill. When we complain about Obama it is about specific policy differences. When the GOP complains about Obama it is always based upon some laughably preposterous lunacy.

When the Dems criticized Cheney/Bush for starting a recreational war, it was based upon specific evidence that they lied to start the war, that they knew there was NEVER any evidence of WMDs, that there was no link between Hussein and Al Qaeda, that Cheney leaked the name of a covert CIA as political retribution, that they engaged in torture - one of their favorite charges against Hussein as an excuse justifying invasion, ad infinitum. These and MANY other criticisms were based upon evidence, sometimes based upon firsthand accounts of people who were in the Bush administration - like Paul O’Neill, Col. Larry Wilkerson, and Scott McClellan, or by people who had first hand experience with the Cheney/Bush torture machine - like Matthew Alexander.

You and the rest of the GOP idiot tribe, however, base your moronic criticism of Obama on what? Produce ANY facts to back up your nonsensical charges.


Posted by: Gasman1 | May 7, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"anything that makes them look weak on national security" LOOK weak! Did you sleep through the 6 months of apology/ denegrate the U.S.S.A./ praise all Muslim countries tours? The bowing and scraping BH O'Carter was a virtual doormat for the world. I just hope it doesn't take WWIII to clean up the damage he has wrought.

Posted by: IQ168 | May 7, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

IQ68. Thanks for stopping by. Have fun spinning those teabags around your head.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 7, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

QuarterBack;

Where was your boy Bush when the Twin Towers fell? You talk a mean game of stupidity when the most terrible terrorist attack was under Bush. And don't worry the terrorists got it right that time.

Posted by: danielburke3 | May 7, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Why not go ask the two street vendors that alerted the police how they voted. Now that might be a whole lot more interesting and relevant!

Posted by: avahome | May 7, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne,
No, that is a typo. His handle is IQ16.8.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 7, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

QB: "When you show me top republicans shrieking that Obama has betrayed the country, let me know about my hypocrisy"

I showed you.

"President Obama has betrayed his oath to the nation" -- Mitt Romney, 3/22/10

Are you going to admit that you're a hypocrite now?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@srw3:

"I am pointing out the blatant double standard that republicans have when discussing terrorism."

I understand now. I was responding to ... ethan, I think - who implied that a lone wolf attack is not to be as feared when compared to an attack linked to a terrorist organization. You chimed in and turned it into some sort of point about "anti-abortion zealots," "gun rights extremists," and "racist ideologues." also being dangerous and are apparently upset that unnamed Republicans don't call these nuts who murder "terrorists."

Of course I think that we should be aware that extremist views can spawn violence and I never suggested otherwise. If Republicans have, it is not my job to defend them. Not to mention, it has nothing to do with my point.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 7, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I just thought about QB and the other nut cases talking about why the terrorist in Times Square acted the way that he did. The reason: I should write this real slow and they might get it...President Obama's drone attacks have obliterated the Taliban, so now they are recruiting the lowest level idiots to make and place their bombs. Did you get that fact... Obama's drone attack have obliterated the top level of the Taliban. Should I say it again. Sometimes Republicans are dense.

Posted by: danielburke3 | May 7, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The Repugs are praying for something to happen don't they, now don't be surprise if they claim the president is Irish that is why he is so lucky. I wonder who put the curse on this nation that gave US Bush.

Bohner is truly unamerican an individual who lives in moral depravity and goes to services to show he is not as bad as the things he does and says.

Now I am truly paranoid, I think the Repugs are conspiring against this president, Congress should have hearings on this guy and his fanatic followers who have declared jijad at the president.

Posted by: postDC | May 7, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Someone told me recently you just wanted to find the 5th leg on a cat don't you, that is precisely what the Repugs are doing but guess what, they never will.

I feel so sorry for those blind individuals who attack the president but even more for those who defend Bush who suffer from either amnesia or they have their heads in the sand.

I have said it before and say it again, prosecute Bush and company so these people finally realize who has the demons in them.

Posted by: postDC | May 7, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@sbj: If Republicans have, it is not my job to defend them. Not to mention, it has nothing to do with my point.

Who is them? You certainly talk like a republican. I just wanted to point out the blatant hypocrisy of singling out political Islam as an entity that inspires "lone wolves" without pointing out the domestic terrorism inspired by right wing extremists is equally as pernicious and as deadly.

Posted by: srw3 | May 7, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"I was responding to ... ethan, I think - who implied that a lone wolf attack is not to be as feared when compared to an attack linked to a terrorist organization"

I certainly never said that.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 7, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are making themselves ridiculous. They never miss an opportunity to turn a positive for our country or this administration into a negative.

All Americans should first be thanking God that the idiot who sought to bomb Times Square failed, and then praising and thanking the responders, citizens, and the public servants in the whole government anti-terrorist apparatus who thwarted, identified and caught this fool in 2 ½ days!!!

I'm outraged at how they criticize and attack our President on everything - particularly any matter dealing with "security" to score points- no matter what message of weakness this imparts to our enemies. They are the most "unpatriotic" bunch, by their own definition, that I've seen in a long time.

They criticized because the December would-be-bomber wasn't handed over to a military tribunal and interrogated, i.e. tortured, to get useful information. His being remanded to the criminal justice system has worked just fine and intelligence got plenty of information from him. They criticize mirandizing this fool although it’s the law and he’s singing his head off! From now until election, they will criticize any and everything this administration does with respect to security or the war – no matter how great an achievement or how good for our country. Is Pres. Obama the only adult in the house, for God's sake?

The captain is at the helm of our ship of state which is in treacherous waters, and these selfish, power driven, unpatriotic "Non-servants" of the people,- who really don't believe anyone other than them has a right to govern - are trying to trip him up and damage him at every turn, regardless of the effect on the well being of our nation. It’s quite literally nauseating, and I believe the American people are getting pretty sick and tired of it I wish they’d wise up. I would like to see a viable 2nd party in contention again (it’s healthy for our Democracy), but this isn’t the way to get there.

I dearly hope their constituents decide that enough is enough, and replace them with people who can act like adults, rather than spoiled petulant children.

Posted by: PREMSHANTI | May 7, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Dear Sirs,
Was it in the national interest for Big Oil to drill at the US Naval Oil Reserve at Teapot Dome?
Remember when the far right accused Janet Reno of being a Nazi when she upheld our federal immigration laws in the Elian Gonzales case?
Her FBI nabbed Timothy McVeigh and turned him over to John Ashcroft to prosecute.
He admitted, in NEVER AGAIN, that he botched the case!
Nice record!
Clifford Spencer

Posted by: yankeefan1925 | May 7, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

@srw3: "You certainly talk like a republican."

Conservative Libertarian.

"I just wanted to point out the blatant hypocrisy of singling out political Islam as an entity that inspires "lone wolves."

Stop the presses! You mean you've discovered a hypocritical politician? Ohmigosh! Thanks goodness there are no hypocrites in the Democratic Party.

"The domestic terrorism inspired by right wing extremists is equally as pernicious and as deadly."

Yeah, right. That there is crazy talk.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 7, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Only in the up-is-down, good-is-bad world of American conservatism should it be a political liability to actually stop terrorist attacks, while George W. Bush "kept American safe" despite the fact that more than 3,000 people were killed in the biggest terror attack in American history under his watch (after he'd been warned and decided to stay on vacation for three weeks).

Posted by: jbentley4 | May 7, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1, go take a quick refresher course on reading comprehension and then read the post again. Then you might notice that nowhere in it does Sargent try to argue that Dems don't also engage in political opportunism. He said he was surprised at Ayres' candor and all he said at the end is that if Dem countrerparts to Ayres (two of which he names) were as candid as he was in an interview about taking advantage of a situation like this for political gain there would be major outcry over it.

And he's right, too.

Posted by: EriktheRedd | May 7, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

@sbj: just wanted to point out the blatant hypocrisy of singling out political Islam as an entity that inspires "lone wolves."

Stop the presses! You mean you've discovered a hypocritical politician?

I think the hypocrisy of condemning Islam for inspiring terrorists while ignoring terrorism influenced by radical right wingers who support republicans almost exclusively deserves to be pointed out, especially as they are alleged Christians you know the guys who say "Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye."

Posted by: srw3 | May 7, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"Oh right, the GOP has no idea how to deal with terrorists, and Obama is the man."

Sure they have ideas. Just ask them and they'll say over and over, "keep Gitmo detainees off of U.S. soil, don't read terrorist suspects their rights, and no civilian trial for KSM". Try and point out some of the faults with those ideas and they'll call you terrorist-loving traitor, but hey, they're ideas.

Posted by: EriktheRedd | May 7, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Boehner is right: We have been stunningly lucky. First, an extremist Islamic jihadist gets on a commercial airliner coming to America with a load of explosives under his clothing, but could not get it to ignite while over Detroit. Now, an extremist Islamic jihadist parks a car loaded with explosives and fuel at Times Square, but again, his ignition device does not work and it does not explode. That surely is not the result of good strategy, planning and execution on the part of the U.S. Homeland Security/FBI/et al is it? We were just lucky.

Posted by: RonKH | May 7, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Just imagine the opportunity presented by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 which killed thousands and destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center. You may stop imagining the ghoulish mindset necessary to capitalize on a national tragedy of such dimensions, because the republicans have already done so. Fear and ignorance are the bread and butter of republican electoral success and in their sick twisted and treasonous minds, the worse for America, the better for them.

Posted by: JovialReaper | May 7, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Worldwide, the Bush Régime has a Phoenix Program style blacklist of sixty nations it intends to invade, conquer and convert into quisling quasi-democracies through a series of "shock and awe" military campaigns, followed by endless, illegal dirty wars designed to eradicate the Bush Régime’s ideological opposition from the face of the earth.

Posted by: chambersmary50 | May 7, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Whos watch did 911 happen on I guess Obama's?

Posted by: hpridesop | May 7, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The only "opportunity" the Republicans are giving to me is the opportunity to feel more outrage towards them than I have for a long time.
I am outraged that they are implitictly attacking our law enforcement people and our citizens by claiming they didn't do a good enough job
I don't believe I am alone in feeling my stomach turn over their opportunistic attack on Americans who brought this terrorist into custody after only 53 hours.

Posted by: cms1 | May 7, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, moderation ate my reply. If it shows up fine; if not, I don't really care. There are no thinking liberals here anyway.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 7, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

quarterbrain,
Don't you have some legal briefs to write for bloated pedophile Limbaugh's fictional libel suit against me? Good score on getting that imaginary gig.

I guess being the senior partner at "Sock Puppet, Mountebank, and Charlatan" has its rewards.

Or should I address you as Mr. Sock Puppet, Esq.?

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 7, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

The police were incompetent and "lucky"?

I suppose I can see where a leading conservative would suggest as much. The way we set up our police forces amounts to socialism in its purest form. We need to privatize the FBI, for starters, and deregulate the NYPD. The Marines also are crazy socialists, by the way. Semper fi, comrade.

Posted by: Sluggo51 | May 7, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Using any terrorist attack for political reasons is shameful. That the Republican pollster says that this can be used against the Democrats is unAmerican. Also, Ayres being a Republican pollster means that he only uses what helps the Republicans AND his saying that "Democrats are always suspect on National Security,..." in an interview is his opinion NOT fact.

Posted by: mcdonalsherry | May 7, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

GOP....once a grand party...hijacked by baggers...destined for collapse. My father would be disgusted at what this lunatic fringe has done to HIS party.

Posted by: david865 | May 7, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

DEMOCRATS WERE SOFT ON COMMUNISM AND THEY ARE SOFT ON TERRORISM. SO WHAT ELSE IN NEW?

Posted by: cdorbg | May 7, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

" There are no thinking liberals here anyway."

None who think like you, that's for sure.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 8, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

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